Episode 21: Four Common Mistakes Writers Make

Episode 21: Four Common Mistakes Writers Make



hi welcome to be our December fiction i am robin miller and i'm jane daily and today we are going to be talking about four common mistakes that I was gonna say new writers but really it is just all writers only folks we're only going to talk about we're gonna start with four and for the next thirty podcast all the other ways okay I'm still learning the new ones that I'm making so we're gonna I have to have a little caveat that's the beginning to say that we're coming most of what we podcast is even though we're Christian writers writers who are Christian I don't know how you could be a Christian plumber so I don't I'm not really sure that's somebody with Tim Hawkins the community talks about yes so I'm Christian who writes okay is what I think but most of what we talk about applies to just the craft of writing or just writing in general but this topic some of it is going to be specifically for a Christian writer okay so that's the idea that doesn't apply to you maybe there's going to be some some nonspecific but the opening one really is where this applies to Christian writers okay so the first common mistake that writers make is assuming that being called to writing means are gonna be super rich and famous I know what I mean you're not know what's the point what's the point in a I get the reason why people feel that way if they feel super compelled to write and they feel super compelled to talk about a subject that kind of logical progression us planners people who like to plan we think if we go down this road then this will happen and then that will happen and pretty soon at the end of it is Francine Rivers you know or Karen Kingsbury yeah exact revenge Oh max look Gaeta you know where it is whoever it is um but when you do that when you look at the end it's kind of like the old scripture about nowhere about tomorrow you know he's got enough troubles of itself they said we really went God calls you too right he's calling you right now to do something and that something doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to go in a logical worldly direction it means that he's calling you to do that right now so you do that and there are many many reasons why writing is being called to write could have unbelievable benefits but have but not necessarily the financial you know all right and one of the future podcasts that we're gonna do is why do you write yeah what's the why what's your big why exactly because that answering that question is going to dictate just about every aspect of your writing going back to what you said you are not going you are probably not going to be rich and famous it's very difficult to be on the New York Times bestseller list as it as an author who writes from a Christian worldview even less so if your goal is to write to be published and be on the New York Times bestseller list good luck yeah it is it is very difficult it's impossible and got me that maybe that's yeah you may be the next Francine Rivers you know you may be but but if you do if you do have that end result don't miss all the other things that you can get along the way and we talked about this when you were talking about journaling you we were talking about how healing journaling is right and I mentioned that when people are writing something when my writing clients are writing personal narrative or memoir that is extremely emotional and it's kind of clear that they haven't you know gone through to the other side yet I suggest using a journal because writing is healing getting it out of you getting it on paper we talked about letting whatever is going on that's kind of ugly bring it into the light where we can process it and we can see it for what it is writing can be so unbelievably healing for you alone oh yeah now if you are healed you are a better and you were a better friend and you are a better mom you are a better everything if you're not carrying around some of the nasty garbage from your past well and let's let's talk about how it's not wrong to watch you make money yeah right that's that's a fallacy that if we're writing from a Christian worldview we shouldn't be concerned about ever earning a dollar and we'll do it all for free no it's okay yeah but if that's your only goal is to be rich and famous probably not gonna be the best way for you to get there exactly so so so looking at the deeper the deeper kind of benefits I think keeps you where your focus needs to be mm-hmm another besides our own healing you can also your media we've talked about this on the one about writing conferences in the podcast about writing conferences how you meet in fellowship with your tribe you always want to connect with people who have your same worldview you're saying you know just morals your same sense of humor you're saying interest there's all sorts of ways that we connect and of course when you write you might go to conferences you might go to workshops you might go to writers groups critique groups or whatever so you're getting around people that you're people that UI or tribe you're so so it could be just that kind of fellowshipping writing anything no matter what your writing improves your writing for other things oh so it's a training ground so you don't just say well oh if this project isn't going to get me you know on the New York Times bestselling list I'm not gonna write it write it if you're compelled to write it and maybe that you're being trained and and your writing skills are improved to get you ready for that project that might have a larger appeal and impact absolutely um discipline writing is a good discipline it really especially in lives like ours where we have you were called the palm in from many angles our time is you know sucked up by work and other things that we do so we've got just fragments of time to write bits sniffing snippets of Planets you need to have discipline to to be able to use that time wisely and I think that that's important to learn in all aspects of our lives they use our time wisely because what everybody's you know the old old statement of you every day is precious you know it's it's a time is fleeting we only got a limited amount of time so so it helps you be disciplined and also writing can encourage others even if it's not New York Times bestseller expects yeah whether it's a greeting card a meme a blog post a a note an email to somebody specific or in your writing group I've been incredibly blessed and encouraged by critiquing other people's work just get it may never be published but I've gotten to see it I've been encouraged on it so there's a million million reasons that being called to write for a new writer often they want it to mean the money and the yeah the New York Times best selling stuff but there's some there's benefits all over the place for writing soul early so engage in it and let as we keep talking about West Coast Christian writers bill Giovannetti who who gave us that wonderful we're responsible for faith God's responsible for outcome outcomes this is a prime example absolutely if he's calling it don't worry about why he's gone don't worry about where it's gonna end up yeah just do it do what God's calling you to do okay um here's his another common mistake expecting the process to be quick you mean it's not tell me Jane how long between when you first started writing let's just go with caregiving season okay started writing it till when it was first published Oh easily two and a half three years and about how much of that was from the time you signed the contract for the book till I got published a long time you the average is between one and a half to two yes it was it was a long time yeah that the contract was it was like a month and a year and a half yeah and that was that's pretty quick there's a to something some contracts are from two two and a half years well I already have a lot but still yeah it was not a quick but not a quick process as anything and publishing is it's it's it moves at the speed regulation absolutely and that unfortunately is a mistake that you know we think as soon as it leaves our hot little hands you know we've given birth to it we're gonna get a contract by Tuesday we get an advance check on Wednesday and by next week it'll be on the shelves of Barnes & Noble exactly and even the process of getting paid what about one of our mutual friends Debbie kid Herman launched a book in it was an August I believe August yes and it was the gift of prophetic encouragement so it's a great book um but it was interesting for me to even hear that it's – with her publisher it's two times per year she gets a royalty statement so how that's not very often no it's not very often and there are something new a little bit more frequently quarterly um nobody does it that I know of monthly and some do it annually every I've recently heard Wow so some of the smaller houses that's what what they they do because it's they're doing smaller number of books and it's just yeah it costs them money to the accounting right you know so if you're expecting to get paid quickly ya know what's gonna happen out and um and even just meeting relationships we think I've really hit it off with that agent or the editor so clearly they're gonna sign me today right and we'll be off but these are all relationships and just just like friendship it takes time well I remember when I first pitched at the time I didn't have an agent so I pitched the caregiving season he to focus on the family and it was probably a good one to three months before I got any outs her back yeah that's shorter it was it was a month month month now they sent it back and they said we like it but we don't like the title and some of the chapters make us uncomfortable the chapter titles yeah so redo it and send it back well then you redo it and send it back and then you're waiting and money enough for them to send back and say okay we like it we're taking it to the marketing committee and we'll get back to you in about three weeks so then you're waiting another three weeks and then oh the Marketing Committee didn't meet or they already had too much on their agenda so then it's another three weeks to meet again and then it's okay we're gonna send you a contract but it goes into a queue of contracts and you're waiting another month and a half and you get the contract you sign it you send it back I mean I mean how that like were like six months now yeah and then when you and when you think that it's happening that six months is excruciating oh it's the worst because you're checking your email at least twice a day or every hour it's not worth money but I wouldn't personally do it every hour every half hour only other people might be that obsessive but not i but but i think i think that when when you're waiting for something wanting to know it's it's kind of like worrying that it's gonna fall out of escrow you know your house every five seconds because you're you everything's done I've got all the positive stuff but until the contract is signed until it's done and dusted it's not really 100 percent so even then I have the fear that they're gonna change their mind they're gonna want their money back yeah exactly I don't think that I think that's gonna happen now at this point no I'm over that I'm over that so another thing that writers tend to do as well as we all do I have to I've four kids and two of them would eat the thing that they like most on their plate first and two would like or leave the thing that they liked most to last and some people do that with their writing careers they will leave the things that they don't like to do to last and other people want to get it out of the way kind of thing rip the band-aid yeah so one of those things that new mistake that new writers make is ignoring the whole platform question ugly word yes because if you don't kind of get that in the oven it's kind of like it I'm gonna call it a turkey okay you're not gonna not gonna wait til your guests arrive two puppets 20-pounder you're a very poor host you're very poor host and that really is what a lot of people it's kind of the equivalent thing if you are wait until your book is done and you're pitching it and you haven't addressed anything to do with platform then you're in trouble because it takes time and effort and slow-roasting and yes platform takes a long time to develop because you need to build up your following you need to have a website you know I need to you know if you're gonna blog you have to get that up and running it's it is a lot of work yeah if you're gonna be a professional it's just part of what you have to do yeah and if you don't it's it it's kind of like you know if you do a little bit of cleaning every day it's a lot easier to do than if you just shove everything into a couple of rooms and then you need those rooms for guests and you have to spend hours and hours and hours cleaning it if you start slow and easy at a low heat to start putting together your platform it's not going to be overwhelming when you first started writing and it was your first book when you got the contract did you feel like you had well prepared and you could just you know let the the process happen or did you have a little bit of makeup to do a little bit of scrambling at the end that I had I had blogged regularly for basically the blog a lot of what was in the blog was in the book yeah so there was that but I didn't have a marketing plan in mind and so yeah there was that oh my goodness now I have to get the word out and so it was getting you know going on Twitter yummy going on Twitter and creating a Facebook author page and yeah and that at least I had a blog about yeah I will say I had about I did not wait playing last second I had the blog that I was doing regularly and asking people to subscribe to it but when if you had to do it all over again I would do it differently I mean that more I would do more now which you know I mean I'm working on a project a nonfiction project and so I'm trying to get ahead of that yeah and say okay what can I do now to get that platform there before I actually get a contract for the bar because because that would be part of you getting a contract yeah the publisher is not going to say well the books great and we trust that you are going to have a platform they want it to be a package deal so literally however a caveat to that is you don't need to kill yourself one that one most freeing things that Kathy lip who talks about marketing there's a brilliant job with communicator Academy and clutter-free Academy and as a speaker and a teacher on writing you say don't kill yourself yeah just pick the two things that you feel like you can do like I don't know what it is I hate Instagram uh I don't I don't want to live stream you know me eating a doughnut or what not that I eat doughnuts clearly I don't need doughnuts but I don't want to do that I don't but I like Twitter and I like Facebook but Facebook I've kind of made a mistake on because I kind of made my professional in my personal inner breed a little bit mm-hmm but Pinterest is Pinterest and Twitter yeah we've interesting Pinterest that's really good for you as I don't get it I don't get Pinterest but I love Instagram yeah and so I post on Instagram a lot so do that because if you hadn't liked it you understand it enjoy I mean I get like 80,000 a month interaction with people on Pinterest I get that so that's what I should do right don't point is is we can't ignore it we have to ignore don't ignore it don't and don't kill yourself and always focus on what is serving your audience yeah so um the last one of the four common mistake the this is this is like your Bugaboo it is mine I'm failing to follow whoo that's right because we are both rule follower we are people out there who don't follow rules yeah rules are there for a reason and as we talked about in the ways to not get published that kind of tongue-in-cheek thing that we did really we are not following the rules whether those are the submission guidelines we have basic um just deadlines and and following the guidelines of submissions and and whatever you're showing yourself not to be a team player you're showing yourself to not necessarily think that you are one of a team you know you're very unique and should have special kid gloves kind of handling and reading it as a business because a lot of writing if you're going to be published a lot of writing is business and it's it's something that you just can't get away from exactly in business there are rules that you follow exactly and and basic writing learning that we hear this all the time in basic writing classes or beginning writing classes learn all the rules before you break them intentionally the number of times people think that they can break rules initially but they really don't have a reason for it yeah let's fall let's follow the rules until we understand them and break them intentionally right so and the rules do apply to you they apply to everyone exactly exactly I mean there are yeah there are those rules like I think you mentioned deadlines dates formatting if you're yeah if you're submitting something recently I did a writing contest and it said we want a synopsis that is no more than one page yes single-spaced yeah and we want the first 1500 words yep double-spaced with the page number here and the title here and it's very stressful but if you but I wanted to make sure that my submission was accepted so I did I had to shrink everything down to one page and make sure the margins were correct because the other wise I came back and say you didn't follow the rules exactly so no more contests for you so don't make that mistake because it's a big one you'll Rob you'll rob yourself of opportunities in contests and submitting with agents with editor pretty much in every aspect if you don't learn how to follow rules you and your writing will not be as strong as it could be unprofessional very much so look for it again what we're gonna have to do this whole series on this but for common mistakes that we're talking about today we're assuming being called means that you're going to be super rich and famous expecting the process to be quick ignoring platform and failing to follow rules all right so those are for common mistakes that writers make don't make it all them don't make them none well you've been listening to the art of semi fiction where we explore every corner of the written word I'm Jane Dailey and I'm Robin Miller and if you would please like and subscribe us we would deeply appreciate it thank you for listening right down there you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *